A Saturday afternoon trip to the local big box store and a wide variety of oak planks in my cart along with some brass hardware and a natural fiber rope and I felt I was ready. Now two things you need to know this was Saturday Dec 17th 7 days before Christmas eve when the presents will be opened… and I live in a high-rise condo in Toronto with no workshop! I own 4 power tools: a miter saw, cordless drill, rotary sander & a jig saw. As you will see in the pictures I did most of the work in my living room but had the miter saw setup in the bathroom (since it was the easiest room to clean up the sawdust and had an exhaust fan!). While this was not optimal and I would usually borrow a friends garage for this type of work time was tight and the weather lousy so I did what I needed to do… And for anyone wondering yes I am single so no one to yell at me about the mess…
Since I had no plan to start with and the end product has now been given away I do not have exact measurements but I have created a semi-scale drawing and provided pictures which should give you a better start then I had. Feel free to ask any questions if there is anything that confuses you...
Step 1: Tools, Materials & Plans
Also Attached below as a PDF file.
Variety of Clamps
2 pieces - ½” x 36” Round Wood Dowel
2 pieces - 1” x 1/8” x 36” Aluminum Flat Stock (Runner Skids)
2 pieces - 2 ½” x ¼” x 48” Oak (Skis)
3 pieces - 4” x ¼” x 48” Oak (Deck)
5 pieces - 1 ½” x ½” x 48” Oak (Braces)
2 pieces - 4” x ¾” x 36” Oak (Risers)
1 piece - 1” x 1” x 36” Oak (Seat Back Support)
1 piece - 5 ½” x ½” x 36” Oak (Seat Side Support)
1 piece - 4” x ½” x 36” Oak (Angle Seat Side Support)
6 - Brass “L” brackets
¾” Brass Screws
1” Brass Screws
Brass Finishing Washers
8 - Wing Nuts
6 - Stainless Washers
8ft - Natural Braided Rope
Step 2: The Skis
The next day I undid the cords and took off the clamps and I had two bentwood oak skis! Now, there were some minor issues. Since the two pieces of wood were on top of each other, the one had a slightly tighter bend then the other. I felt I could live with this and probably tension the one ski a bit more than the other in the final product to even them out. Problem 2, the metal in the chair had left indents in the wood. I should have put in a piece of scrap to protect the wood but it did not occur to me at the time. I would also have to live with this and I ended up hiding this defect with some clever paint work.
Step 3: The Deck
I cut the cross members from the 1 ½” x ½” x 48” oak using the deck boards to determine the width I needed. I wanted to give it a retro boat feel so I used mostly brass screws and on the deck added brass finishing washers. This not only gave it an aesthetic that I wanted but since the deck was only ¼” I did not want to countersink the screws. With the finishing washers you get the effect of countersinking without having to weaken the already thin wood. I only screwed in the front and back cross members as I thought it would look too busy with another line of screws. I still placed a cross member under the middle for strength. It is attached to the riser but not the deck.
It is starting to look like a sled!
Step 4: Attaching the Skis
I drilled three ½” holes in the risers about half way through the wood on the inside. These will hold three dowels near the bottom of the riser to give lateral strength to the sled without adding too much bulk. ½” dowels are glued in to these holes and the deck is screwed onto the top. In addition to the screws from the top of the deck, 6 brass “L” brackets are added to the bottom of the cross members and screwed to the riser to complete the sleds structure. Lastly a cross member is added to the tip of the skis to keep the straight and add strength for the pull rope.
Holes are drilled near the top of the riser to hold the end of the rope. The rope is then fed through a hole in the cross member at the ski tip. Trick here is to get out your bungee cord again and pull the tip of the ski as far back as you can then knot the rope on the other side of the cross member. This will make the rope nice and tight.
Step 5: The Seat
A wide board is used as the Arm support, with a narrower board cut on an angle for the backrest support. Left over cross member 1 ½” x ½” board is used to attach the two (glued and screwed) along with an additional piece horizontal for the Arm rest. Not seen in the pictures are two lengths of 1” x 1” square stock screwed in the back of the seat to act as structure and provide a surface to screw in the back boards. A left over piece of the back board is used to finish off the top of the back of the seat. A ½” dowel is drilled and glued into the upper back. This is left to stick out a few inches on either side to provide push handles and give the sled a bit of a dog sled feel for fun.
Step 6: The Final Touches
One final addition I made since this is a “City Sled” I added a strip of Aluminum bar stock under the wooden skis. These are held on with wing nuts so they can be replaced if worn down. In the city you tend to have to cross cement sidewalks covered with sand and salt as well as paved roads to get to the good hills. This strip of metal will keep the wood safely off the ground and protect it from being worn down. I counter sunk the screw at the back of the ski so that the screw was even with the aluminum to avoid it getting caught on things. At the front this was not needed as the screw is on the curve of the ski. There are washers on the top of the skis to protect the wood.
Hope you enjoyed my crazy little project & my FIRST Instructable! Now I am just waiting for snow so I can take the little one out to a big hill!